Outdoor Wedding: Planning is Key to Success

Outdoor Wedding Planning Tips

The first time I wrote about outdoor weddings the article was in the inaugural issue of Bridal Bliss Magazine. I’ve spoken on the same topic once before for couples at Simply Love Studio and will do so again this week. I’m sure there are many wedding planners and wedding venue owners that have more experience in the outdoor wedding department, but let’s be honest, I’m very familiar with outdoor weddings and can offer some pretty good advice if I do say so myself.

Chances are you’ve spent a bit of time on Pinterest, daydreaming about your big day. While Pinterest is a wonderful hub of ideas, it can create a false sense of security after looking at all the beautiful images of outdoor ceremonies and receptions. On Pinterest, and even within this blog, you’ll see beautiful images of outdoor weddings, but what you don’t see is what you need to plan for. And as a public service, I’m writing this to help anyone who may be planning an outdoor wedding, not just those who are having their wedding at Warrenwood Manor.

Consider starting the process by hiring a wedding planner or working with a complimentary planning service like Simply Love Studio. Next, find your venue. Some venues offer complete planning services and day of coordination, while others just turn the keys over. Be sure to determine what’s included with your rental package and what services you can add. Along those same lines, think about these four biggies as you select your venue:

Season

Your number one concern when planning an outdoor event should be the weather. Not your heels sinking in the grass, not your hair, not your whatever, I’m telling you, it’s the weather. Outdoor wedding season in Kentucky is considered to be April through October, mainly due to weather concerns. Confirm a venue specific inclement weather plan BEFORE booking the venue. Some venues offer free backup options, but you’ll need to make sure it accommodates your guest count. If you plan on reserving a tent, do so very early in the planning process and check with the venue concerning tent restrictions and fees. While planning for rain, be sure to consider the extreme summer heat too. For those outdoor, summer weddings in Kentucky try to set up in the shade, rent fans and make sure there’s plenty of water for everyone before, during and after the event.

Location

Not just a real estate adage, “location, location, location,” has wedding planning implications as well. While some venues offer breathtaking scenery, it’s important to consider the logistics of getting yourself, your vendors and your guests safely to and from the venue of your choice. Consider venues that will be easy for your guests to find. Or, maybe budget for shuttles so that your guests don’t have to worry about finding your venue down an unfamiliar, curvy road. Consider the venue’s proximity to local amenities and accommodations. I can’t think of a single wedding that didn’t require a quick trip to Hobby Lobby or Wal-Mart.  Thankfully, Warrenwood is within three miles of multiple hotels, Hobby Lobby AND Wal-Mart…what more could a bride possibly need? Oh, Liquor Barn, yes, it’s within three miles as well.

Accessibility and Comfort

While your big day is all about you and what you want, it’s still the right thing to do to consider your guests and their needs on your wedding day. There are countless stunning backdrops for pictures in Kentucky, but sometimes those places really lack when it comes to the logistics necessary for a successful event. We’ve talked about how you want to accommodate your guests in inclement weather, but it’s also important to think about boring things like electric, running water, restrooms, lighting, handicap accessibility and the list goes on and on! Don’t get discouraged though. Almost all obstacles associated with barn and outdoor venues can be easily overcome, but please remember that doing so may come at a price.

Seating for outdoor weddings is something that you should take into consideration because certain chairs work better in grass than others. You’ll want to select chairs that down have thin legs so that they don’t sink in the grass. Oh and speaking of grass, we spray for mosquitos every 22 days at Warrenwood. I’ve never seen a good lookin’ bug bite!

Over 43% of U.S. couples have an outdoor wedding ceremony! That’s a lot of outdoor weddings! Special request for you outdoor wedding planning people: please make sure guests can actually hear what’s being said at your ceremony! Talk with your DJ about how to best amplify the ceremony. I recommend that at the very least the officiant has a mic. And here’s another little tip for you. Talk to your DJ and officiant about trying to add a mic either in the binder or iPad the officiant is holding in order to pick up on your voices.

Parking

Parking…sounds so simple, right? Unfortunately, there are many things to consider when it comes to parking for your outdoor wedding! Ample parking is not uncommon with primarily outdoor venues (farm and barn venues in particular). But, what if it rains for two days straight before your wedding and your parking was planned for a field that’s now better suited as a mud-wrestling pit? What about lighting for people to be able to find their vehicles after the reception? Is there enough parking based on your guest count? Is there parking within close proximity of the event or do you need to consider shuttles? Oh and don’t forget about all those fun people who were hanging out at your open bar all night. How will they get home?  Are they allowed to leave their vehicle overnight? So many questions! Warrenwood Manor provides a gravel parking lot that is lit up like the sun for you, your guests and vendors. We also encourage people to leave vehicles overnight if necessary. It’s my understanding that not all venues operate this way so just be sure to ask and plan accordingly.

Now, calm down, I’m here to tell you that everything is going to be just fine. Do not stress. Instead, plan.

Tips for your outdoor wedding

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Rustic Bohemian Brunch Wedding | Erica + Sam

Brunch Wedding Details

Some people are determined to do life differently.  Erica, my youngest sister, and her husband, Sam, are two such people.  They are effortlessly original because that is just who they are.  So, it was only fitting that they threw tradition to the wind for their summer wedding. With rustic, bohemian vibes their day was filled with personal touches and heartfelt moments.

Erica and Sam opted for a morning ceremony under a beautiful tree.  Decorated with eucalyptus, garden roses and their unity tree, the same heirloom alter table Nick and I used for our wedding looked absolutely perfect. Their dog, Auggie, raced down the rose petal-lined aisle as the ring bearer and could be heard chomping on treats for the remainder of the ceremony. But no complaints because he was so good and so was the ceremony! I cried pretty much throughout the entire ceremony as Sam and Erica read their vows to one another and it really hit me that my baby sister was about to actually be married. Good grief, I’m tearing up as I write this just thinking about it! Let’s be honest, the crying didn’t stop at the ceremony.

The newlyweds were introduced for the first time and the brunch reception began. There was a huge donut selection from the local bakery, an omelette station, biscuit bar and parfait bar. They further personalized the reception with the cutest little kids’ tepee, pine tree favors, and yard games. But my favorite part of the whole reception was the first dance. There they were, dancing in front of the beautiful view of the farm as it started to rain. The moment was truly magical! I cried again, like real hard.

Erica and Sam know what they want out of life and are independent enough to follow their own path. Their wedding was only the beginning. The newlyweds have now embarked on a whole new project as they work to make their dreams of a tiny home a reality. To follow their story, head on over to their blog and follow them on Instagram @wanderingtiny.

Bride and Groom with special wine
During their reception, Erica and Sam shared wine that they had been saving since their trip to Italy, their first of many international trips together.

Let Love Grow with Pine Tree Party Favor Wedding Guests on Warrenwood Manor Front Porch

Press play, you won’t regret it!

Wedding Vendors

Photographer: Ben Keeling Photography

Videographer: Scott Hayes Productions

Floral Design: Doug Smith Designs & Events

Day of Coordination: Lex Effect

Officiant: Reverand Jeff Eller

Dress: Bridal & Formal

Groom’s Attire: J. Crew

Hair & Makeup: Something Blu

Rentals: Bryant’s Rent-All

Cake: Sweets by Cindy

Cake Topper: Etsy – The Glittered Barn

Invitations: elli

Catering: Minton’s

Wedding Favor Stamp: Etsy – Fall For Design

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Thankful And So Much More

2016 in Review

Can we all just agree that we can’t believe another year has come and gone? How did it happen so quickly? I want to take some time to slow down and look back on 2016. But most importantly, I want to thank all of you for your love, encouragement, and support. I’m so thankful that the word “thankful” just doesn’t even feel like enough! Seriously, thank you, thank you, thank you! I am 100% sure I couldn’t make it through the highs and lows of small business ownership without the encouragement from so many wonderful people! Especially, my husband, I definitely married up…he’s the best…maybe I’ll tell you about my hunk, Nick, in a Valentine’s Day post 😉

Anyway, we started 2016 with a big project and we’re finishing 2016 knee-deep in another project. Even though Nick’s mantra to me is “no more projects.” Oops!  At the beginning of the year we were feeling so hopeful, ready to really make our second wedding season at Warrenwood Manor special and thankfully we’re really ending on a high note! Concrete was added to the barn in March and it was so exciting to see how pleased couples were with the progress. I mean, that’s what I’m here for, to make people happy!

Throughout the year we enjoyed numerous weddings, some great publicity and prepared for our largest project yet, an addition to the barn. The barn addition is in full swing and we’re excited to soon have restroom facilities and a prep area for caterers down at the barn. But, what’s most important is that we couldn’t do it without the couples who choose to trust Warrenwood Manor with their wedding day!

Goals for 2017

Y’all, we have been so blessed! 2017 is already completely booked! How does that even happen? I’m convinced that Warrenwood is just some sort of forcefield attracting couples from all over the United States and it really doesn’t have much to do with us at all. Honestly, it’s like the Warren Brothers (the guys who built the house), knew when they built it that this house was going to be full of love for years to come. It brings me so much joy to know that this historic home is part of so many love stories! We’re honoring the past and celebrating the future with every single day that passes.

But, sometimes I feel our lives are flying by, so fast, too fast. Flying in a way that we can’t keep up and that precious time is slipping away that we can never get back. Do you ever get that feeling? I get it all the time. So, for 2017 my goal is to slow things down and create more balance in our lives. I’m going to strive to focus on relationships and engaging more with our clients. To do so, I’ve committed to only doing one wedding a weekend so that we can fully serve those who have chosen Warrenwood for one of the most important days of their life. We’re also planning to implement more ways to serve our clients before their big day. The possibilities of 2017 couldn’t be more exciting!

Our life looks so different from what it did just three years ago before we were married, before we had a ton of farm animals and a bazillion pets (that’s another story for another time), and before we owned an amazing property that brings such joy. But, we still feel like two lil old souls trying to make it in a big world full of highs and lows, just praying that the highs outweigh the lows. Thanks to hard work, sacrifice and a whole lotta love from a whole lotta people, the highs of 2016 definitely outweighed the lows. We’re thankful for this wonderful, crazy life we live, but most importantly, we couldn’t be more thankful for you.

 

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Money Saving Event Tips

 

What do you do if you want a Pinterest Worthy, Instagram trending and Facebook liked wedding, but don’t want to spend a fortune?  Here are a few money saving event tips.

Flowers and DecorSucculents

  • Real flowers can be super costly so be careful.  To minimize the cost, choose only local in season flowers.  Below are three stunning examples of Kentucky-grown flower arrangements by Meadowview Flowers and Sara Jane Camacho.  If you have a green thumb you can use live plants like these succulents as decor and favors.  Also consider moving ceremony flowers to your reception so that you don’t have to buy flowers for both locations.  Bouquets can also be used for centerpieces after the ceremony like in the center photo below.
  • Use spray paint to make mismatch items more cohesive.  For example, if you have vases that don’t match each other or your theme colors, try spaying them all the same color.  You can even try spray paints with textures.
  • Find used decor by asking on social media for what you need.  You may find someone who is willing to let you borrow, rent or buy for cheap.  You can also buy it locally through yard sales, thrift shops or Craigslist.  Tradesy and Ruffled offer lots of good options through an online peer-to-peer sales platform.
  • Etsy is the go-to website for finding unique, custom and reasonably priced items.  We found our guest book on Etsy.
  • Ask for advice or have them fill out a mad lib on your RSVP card then decorate with them to add a personal touch to your event.
  • Reuse ceremony decor at the reception.  Be sure to have a team of able and willing people ready to handle this.

Food

  • Use store bought or homemade food (check with your venue to make sure that’s an option…it is at Warrenwood!)
  • Hold your event at a time people will not expect a full meal and serve light finger foods.  Our reception started around 3:30 pm so we just had both sweet and savory snack type foods such as popcorn, beef jerky, cupcakes, cookies and a charcuterie bar.Maggie Cake
  • Bring back the cake and punch reception.  My grandparents talk about how “in the good ole days”, weddings had cake and punch receptions instead of huge receptions.  To save money, you can bring back the tradition.  Tiered, fondant-covered cakes are the most expensive so you can opt for a small cake to cut along with cupcakes or sheet cakes for all the guests.
  • Keep meat options to a minimum as they are usually the most expensive dishes.  This is great for the budget and for your vegetarian guests.
  • Be conservative on your guest count.  Excess food as well as other expenses can be avoided if you can get an accurate guest count prior to the event.
  • Make sure that your caterer doesn’t make any assumptions about what services you want from them.  For example, you may be able to save some money if you have a crew of guests that are willing to clear tables and pick up trash instead of paying the caterers to do it.  Also, discuss how the food will be displayed so that you aren’t paying for unnecessary items.

Rentals

  • Be sure to shop around before you make any decisions.
  • You don’t have to get everything from one place, but remember delivery charges can add up.
  • If you have willing helpers pick up rentals yourself to avoid delivery fees.
  • Instead of a photo booth, purchase Polaroid or disposable cameras to serve the same purpose.
  • Some dry cleaners offer linen rental at a reasonable cost.  They may need to be steamed or ironed so just keep that in mind.
  • Forgo rentals all together and opt for a picnic!

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Check out some of our other posts, like The Wedding Dress and Host an Eco-Friendly Event, for additional money saving tips.

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Host an Eco-Friendly Wedding

All of us know that to be eco-friendly we must reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible…I mean we all learned this in like the 1st grade, right?  But, what does that mean for your wedding or event?  In this post we’ll share some ideas on how to throw an eco-friendly event.  Even a few little changes to the standard can make a big impact.

Eco-Friendly Decor

  • Use what you have or have access to via friends/family, rent what you can and as a last resort Barn wedding with eco-friendly option of reused decorbuy or repurpose used/recycled decor.
  • If you have to buy something for your event that you will not use afterward, sell it somehow or give it to whomever you know that is have a wedding soon.  Remember that what you buy doesn’t have to be brand new! Check out these options for buying and selling:
    • Tradsey: Up to 90% off wedding decor and last I checked they had over 9,000 items listed!
    • Ruffled:  Has a section called Recycle Your Wedding where you can buy, sell or post a picture of what you’re looking for.
    • Wedding Bee Classifieds:  Decor, dresses, shoes, you name it, someone is selling it here.
    • 100 Layer Cake Marketplace:  You may need to sift through some spam posts, but tons of great stuff here!
  • Minimize the number of tables that need to be decorated by using larger tables or seating without tables…picnics are always fun!Eco-Friendly Picnic Wedding at Warrenwood Manor
  • Use live plants and natural components for decor.  Don’t worry you black thumbs out there, you can rent live plants. Succulents are a great option even in bouquets because they can be planted after the event.
  • If you are going to have cut flowers, use in-season local flowers arranged by a local florist.
  • Consider donating your flowers after your event.  After our wedding we gave our centerpieces and aisle flowers to the local senior center.  Be sure to call ahead to make arrangements.
  • Favors should be reusable instead of one-time-use items. Confetti Daydreams sharEco-friendly Succulent Centerpiecees some creative suggestions.
  • Don’t forget eco-friendly confetti if you are doing a send-off. The Bridal Guide lists five biodegradable options.  And please, for the love of all things cute, not so cute, furry and not so furry roaming about in the outdoors, do not release balloons or Chinese lanterns…this is littering people.  {Stepping off soapbox now.}

Eco-Friendly Apparel and Accessories

  • The Outfits:
    • The Ladies: Wear used dresses or rent dresses and wear shoes you already have.  You can also sell your dresses after the event if you are unlikely to wear it again.
    • The Men: Have the men wear something they already have, will wear again or can rent.
  • The Rings: As Ruffled suggests, “Select environmentally conscious metals. Ask your jeweler about rings made of recycled metals. OR — collect jewelry from family and have it melted down and crafted into your own personal ring design.”
  • Bouquets and Boutonnieres:  If you choose to have real flowers, keep the bouquets and boutonnieres small and made from local flowers.

Eco-Friendly Food

  • Serve a local, in-season menu cooked by a local caterer in order to reduce fossil fuel emissions and support your local farmers. {Insert shameless plug here}
  • Be conservative with the number of guests so that you don’t have a lot of leftover food.
  • Have to-go boxes for guests so food isn’t wasted, especially the cake! But, if there are leftovers you can donate them to a local organization. Be sure to discuss this with your caterer in advance.
  • Minimize the paper products need and use recyclable/compostable materials when possible.  Green Party Goods and Susty Party have some really cute options.
  • Serve water in pitchers or dispensers Eco-Friendly Wedding- Drink Dispensers instead of bottles.
  • Make recycling and composting easy for your guests and caterers by providing labeled receptacles.
  • Ask guests to reuse their glass.  Simply post a sign with the request.

General Eco-Friendly Suggestions

  • Choose a venue with lots of natural light, hold your event during the day and outdoors if possible to minimize the energy consumption.
  • Hold the ceremony and reception in one place so everyone doesn’t have to drive between locations.
  • Use local vendors as much as possible and book hotels near the venue to reduce travel time for everyone.  Warrenwood is located within two miles of several hotels.
  • Minimize paper used for invitations, programs, place cards and other event correspondence.  Consider an online RSVP, printing double-sided on recycled or plantable paper and going without a printed save-the-date.
  • Request monetary gifts or donations to your favorite charity.  This cuts down on shipping and wrapping.
  • Keep the guest list to people you really want to be there. To keep our guest list short, we made the rule and if we didn’t both know the person (well), they weren’t invited.  Sorry distant relatives!
  • As you’re shopping for event items, use reusable bags.
  • The Knot even goes so far as to share traditions you can skip.

Even if you only incorporate one or two of these eco-friendly event suggestions into your wedding or any event for that matter, you will likely save money AND lower your environmental impact.  It’s a win-win!

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Imperfection

Imperfection Quote by Marilyn Monroe

We’re not perfect.  Our house isn’t perfect.  This blog definitely isn’t perfect.  Nothing is perfect.  But, we try our best to be better in every way, every single day.  Overt time persistence and patience bring you a smidgen closer to perfect than imperfect.  Nick and I don’t go around saying this Marilyn Monroe quote or posting it on our walls, but it pretty much defines how we approach our lives.  We embrace imperfection, turn left when everyone else is turning right and do what we want without regard for how crazy it seems to others.  Of course we’re disappointed when a project doesn’t go the way we want, but that’s what makes life interesting!

Imperfect Boiler
Due to a faulty part that couldn’t be replaced, we were putting water in and taking water out of this beast 3 to 4 times a day for 4 months. Talk about an imperfect way to heat your house!

Accepting temporary imperfection allows you to do things right the first time. Temporary fixes don’t actually solving the problem so they should be avoided if at all possible.  Just think, it is what it is for now because I am waiting until I have the time and money to replace/repair it correctly.   We went through our first winter months with a Sears and Roebuck boiler {the boiler is the thing that allegedly keeps your house warm}.  Ours was badly outdated and in desperate need of parts, but it was too old to even order the parts.  I refused to just go with the first heating and cooling solutions that came up because I knew I wasn’t able to make an educated decision.  Often times, skilled laborers are very good at their job, but they may not be so great at caring for your home on a larger scale, or your bank account for that matter!  When embarking on a major project, do your own research by studying your home, consulting multiple experts and utilizing a multitude of resources.  Being able to deal with an imperfect situation will allow you time to complete your project right the first time.

Scaffolding up at an imperfect time
Due to water damage, all four corners of the main house needed to be repointed. {Scrape out old mortar, replace with new…hire someone to do this!}

As you well know, Rome wasn’t built in a day.  Although, sometimes I wish it was so that I could justify my desire to have every facet of my life perfect at any given time…but, what’s the challenge in that, right?  What’s challenging is putting your desire to have the perfect house RIGHT NOW aside to accommodate your budget and the inevitable delays associated with construction.  Never, EVER rush a contractor to finish a job.  You will pay the price in the long run.  Make sure you hire good people who are also skilled, agree upon a completion date in advance and monitor project milestones along the way to keep the process on track.  (This tip goes back to educating yourself on the project…do your own research!)  Be sure to anticipate unforeseen issues and know that some things like drying times or weather are out of your control….for example, you may have scaffolding up during an event because it’s rained every day since the beginning of time and your guys can’t get the mortar to dry while repointing the brick…yes, that happened.  Check out this link from the NPS Preservation Briefs to learn a little more about the process, it’s pretty interesting!

The main part of the house was completed in 1856 and there have been renovations from every era; some good and some not so good.  The paint has chips, the plaster has cracks and some sort of invisible bug is eating on all our bushes.  But, that’s ok, if everything was perfect wouldn’t life be so boring?!    Once we decided to turn Warrenwood into a venue, we had to accept imperfection.  Of course we want to offer all of our customers the “perfect venue,” but we can’t.  When we set out on this endeavor our goal was and still is to preserve and share this beautiful property with others. Preservation takes time; it’s a labor of love.  By accepting imperfection, our preservation efforts have been more rewarding than we ever thought possible both visually and emotionally.

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Decor Shopping: Outlets and Online

Decor Shopping- Outlets & Online

Decor Shopping: Outlets

  • Ballard Design, Frontgate and Grandin Road share an outlet location in West Chester, OH.  Of the three we have had particularly good luck at Ballard, where we purchased accent chairs, large mirrors, an upholstered bench, bar stools and side tables.  Many of the items here are simply surplus items without any damage.  However, there are a lot of damaged items as well, so look everything over really well.  Don’t forget to check out the websites before you go!  Ballard actually lists their sales for the week under each location AND you can call with an item number to see if they have it in stock…they don’t like to do this, but they will 😉
  • The Pottery Barn Outlet in Jeffersonville, OH has a large selection of furniture with minor damage and surplus decor.  They actually have a large nursery and kids section, which wasn’t helpful for us, but may be of interest to you.  It’s a great place to pick up pillows, throws, picture frames and mantle decor.
  • Arhaus recently opened an outlet near Colombus, OH.  You can find key furniture items here such as couches, beds, tables and accent chairs, but they had very few decor items when we visited.  Many of the chairs and side tables we looked at were damaged, but a lot of the couches seemed to be in pretty good shape.
  • Though we haven’t gone yet, an Anthropologie outlet called Final Cut does exist in Augusta, GA.  It looks like they have a nice mix of apparel and home furnishings at affordable prices.  When we do go, I believe renting a U-Haul will be necessary.

Decor Shopping: Online

Copy Cat Chic and Racked have both shared excellent go-to lists for finding furniture and decor items online, but we wanted to share some of our finds too.

Peer-to-Peer E-commerce

  • Etsy showcases on handmade or vintage items and supplies, as well as unique factory-manufactured items from all over the world.  Etsy is also a great place to find tons of wedding related items…more to come on this in the future.
  • Custom Made connects customers who want one-of-a-kind creations with professional and passionate makers of those goods.
  • On Chairish you’ll find vintage furniture, decor, jewelry and accessories featuring curator-approved treasures in a full-service and trustworthy environment.  LOVE this site!
  • Craigslist provides local classifieds for the buying and selling of many things, amount which are furniture and home decor.  Always meet in a public place with good lighting and try to take someone with you!
  • Everything But the House = latest addiction.  Allowing you to shop a multitude of estate sales online, it’s really everything a lazy yard sale shopper ever imagined.  Surprisingly, there are lots of options for those located in the Kentucky area and are willing to travel.  There are sales in Lexington, Louisville, Cincinnati and Nashville.

Discount Retailers

  • Zulily is a flash sale deal website offering Home items in a category organized by either collection or brand.  If you are in need of something quickly, Zulily may not be the best option since your item will not be shipped until the flash sale is complete.
  • Overstock brings together high-quality surplus products from a wide variety of companies and puts them  all on one site at a discounted price.
  • Wayfair has one of the largest online selections of furniture, home furnishings, décor and goods, including more than seven million products from over 7,000 suppliers.  Wayfair also includes a portfolio of other brands including Birch Lane, a collection of classic furnishings and timeless home décor, and Joss & Main, an online flash sales site offering inspiring home design daily.
  • One Kings Lane launches new daily sales on furniture and decor at 8am PT/ 11am ET and evening sales launch Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday at 6pm PT/ 9 PM ET. Quantities are limited so shop early.  Sometimes they even have vintage pieces.
  • Home Decorators Collection has a ton of variety and constantly updating sales.  Some of the many purchases from there have included preserved boxwood topiaries and table mirrors.

Specialized Retailers

  • We used Lighting Direct and Lamps Plus to find affordable lighting options for the bathroom we completely gutted and the barn.  Lamps Plus also offers furniture and home decor.
  • House of Antique Hardware offers original vintage and authentic reproduction hardware, as well as hardware restoration and custom manufacturing services.
  • Rejuvenation sells hardware, lighting, fixtures, furniture and restored salvage items for indoor and outdoor projects.
  • Van Dyke’s has a selection of 50,000 hardware and restoration supply products to complete a Victorian, Arts and Crafts, Mid-Century, Retro, Traditional, or Transitional look.

 

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Local Furniture and Decor Shopping

Local Furniture and Decor Shopping

To continue our discussion of furniture and decor shopping, we thought we would talk about some of the places we found and loved as we were shopping for projects at Warrenwood Manor.  We’ll start with local retailers and department stores in the central Kentucky area.

A booth at Not Just Antiques
A booth at Not Just Antiques

Second-Hand Furniture and Decor Shopping in Central Kentucky

  • The Peddler’s Mall and Not Just Antiques are large multi-vendor stores with a wide variety of new and old items.  Great pieces can be found, but you have to be willing to spend the time to find them and maybe even alter or fix them once purchased.
  • The Blue Bird Market  is a large non-profit second hand furniture and decor store open only on Saturdays from 10 am to 3 pm.  Their proceeds support the Wilderness Trace Child Development Center.
  • The Sycamore Shop, located on Main Street in Danville, is filled with interesting vintage and classic reproduction pieces.  The
    The Sycamore Shop
    The Sycamore Shop

    owner is very helpful and willing to place special orders if she doesn’t have exactly what you are looking for.  We have purchased items such as vases, door stops, mantle decor and coasters.

  • Another Man’s Treasure, in Lexington, buys and sells new, used and antique furniture.  They have some really unique items as well as very traditional pieces.
  • Feather Your Nest is a multi-dealer store with antiques and eclectic vintage items located off Main Street/Leestown Road in Lexington.  Here you can find decor, clothing and much more of all eras and styles.
  • The Wooden Nickel offers architectural salvage and antiques in Cincinnati.  If you are looking for large items this is the best place to find them.
  • Cowgirl Attic is all about recycled, reclaimed and repurposed pieces. At their store in Lexington, they have a massive inventory of old building materials, antiques, lighting and garden decor.  Everywhere you look there is something interesting.
  • Joe Ley Antiques in Louisville has a huge, constantly changing inventory of antiques and architectural salvage.  Even if you aren’t ready to buy, Joe Ley Antiques is in a really cool schoolhouse built in 1890 so it is worth a visit.
  • Habitat for Humanity ReStore is a nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sells new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, and appliances.  All proceeds are used to build Habitat homes locally and around the world. There are several locations so be sure to find the one nearest to you.
  • If you’re really adventurous, you can find some really unique decor and furniture at the 127 Yard Sale.  Held every August, and known as The World’s Longest Yard Sale, it’s 690 miles long covering 6 states and attracting crowds from all over the US.  Anyone can sell anything at any price.  It will take no time at all for you to find plenty of things you never knew existed, but it may take some time to find what you are looking for.

Furniture and Decor Shopping at Department Stores in Central Kentucky

We like to support locally owned stores whenever possible, but for basic items we had to rely some on standard large stores such as Hobby Lobby, Marshall’s, Kohl’s, Tuesday Morning, Pier One, Home Goods, Target and Macy’s.  Everyone is probably familiar with these stores, so we won’t waste words on them!

In our next post we’ll cover furniture and decor shopping at outlet stores and online.

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Decor Shopping 101

Decor Shopping

At Warrenwood Manor we are trying to find the balance between old southern charm and modern functionality.  The goal is to create a home where visitors feel comfortable.  To accomplish this look we shop all over the place for the perfect decor at a reasonable price.  We are still a work in progress; doing a little bit at a time, unless, of course, we happen to win the lottery.  In upcoming posts we will share with you some of our favorite places for furniture and decor shopping, but first here are some basic decorating and shopping tips.

  • First and foremost, set a budget.  Even if you have all the money in the world, there is no need to be extravagant.  A budget for the entire project as well as separate budgets for each section of the project is best so you can prioritize spending on key items that matter most to you.  Having an idea of what you plan to spend will help to determine where you should shop.
    We are starting to collect ideas on Pinterest for the renovation of our tiny cottage.
    We are starting to collect ideas on Pinterest for the renovation of our tiny cottage.
  • Use Pinterest to gather inspiring ideas, but be realistic and practical.  Yes, that $7,000 dining room table is gorgeous, but wouldn’t you rather have health insurance for the year.  Yes, a hanging bed in the center of the room looks cool, but just imagine your three-year-old demolishing the rest of your bedroom with just one swing.  Not practical.
  • Be able to describe the feel you want the room to have.  Do you want the room to feel comfortable or formal, feminine or masculine, calm or energetic.  Cater your colors, materials, style and texture accordingly.
  • To pull our Bridal Suite look together we brought in a rug from a different room in the house and recovered the settee.

    Try to work with what you already have before purchasing something new.  Consider painting, recovering and other alterations that update the look of old items.  This doesn’t always save money or time, but reworking a family heirloom or quality piece is usually worth it.  If you don’t want to keep what you have, try selling it so you can use the cash to buy new.  A yard sale is always an option, as well as selling online through Craigslist or one of these nine websites.

  • Make a list of everything you need.  The key word here is NEED.  I don’t know about you, but without a list I usually leave the store with a bunch of extra stuff, not what I really needed and no money.  OR I spend a ton of time shopping an get absolutely nothing other than frustrated.  Plus, I get lost and sidetracked easily, so I write a list to give myself direction.
  • The measuring tape is your friend.  Be sure to take the appropriate measurements before you leave home so you know what you’re looking for and while in the store so you don’t buy something that won’t work.  It may also help to take photos and sketch out the room and specific spaces you are shopping for so that you can visualize new items in their place.
  • Do your research in advance.  To save time and money, call ahead to stores to see what sales they are running.  Also, visit store websites prior to your visit to make a list of items that you want so that you can ask about them if you don’t see them.
  • Take your time.  Take snacks.  Decor shopping is hard.  You aren’t going to be able to get everything you want, in the exact shape, style, size and color at the first store.  You’re vision may change as you shop and that is okay.

Check back tomorrow for a post about decor and furniture shops in Central Kentucky.

Personalize Your Wedding

A wedding is your chance to express who you and your fiancé are as a couple.  In order to personalize your event, focus on what is most important to you and your fiancé and make it GREAT.  More importantly, don’t sweat the stuff that doesn’t matter to you.  Make sure the decisions you make reflect who you are and what’s most important to you on your big day.  Here are some examples of how to put a personal touch on your event.

If you’re all about making your wedding about family, friends and memories:

  • Recreate aspects of your parents’ or grandparents’ weddings.  Do this by wearing something belonging to a family member, using heirloom furniture, decorating with family trinkets or duplicating a ceremony set-up.

    Wedding Ceremony Table
    This table, used as our ceremony backdrop, was made by my uncle from wood found on our family farm. It is one of three similar tables made for my two sisters and I.
  • Incorporate old family photos, engagement photos and other photos of the bride and groom into the decor. The Praise Wedding Online Magazine gives you 27 Cool Ways to Display Photos.
  • Your guestbook is what will forever remind you of all those who were a part of your big day. Weddingomania and ModWedding list some interesting ideas.
  • Give a meaningful party favor. It could be a local food, a traditional family gift or a soundtrack of your favorite songs.  POPSUGAR has some great suggestions, but be sure to take these ideas and make them your own.
  • Choose a menu that you love.  You can incorporate family recipes, designate a signature drink (maybe the drink you were having when you met or went on your first date) or recreate the menu from a special event in your relationship.  You could even do breakfast for dinner just because you want to!

If you’re all about making everyone feel included at your wedding:

Wedding RSVP Card
Ask your guests to request a song in advance, then add it to your playlist!
  • Have family members and/or friends participate in the event in lieu of a gift.  Ask them to recite a reading or perform a song during the ceremony.  For the musically inclined, they could provide the music for the reception.  If you have someone that is good at hair and make-up ask them to help you and your bridesmaids get ready. Also, crafty friends and family can help with decor.  Maybe even ask the best cooks in your family to whip up breakfast or lunch on the big day.
  • Personalize the ceremony and reception playlists with special songs for the couple or ask guests to send in a song request with their RSVP. Here is an example of a RSVP card from Love Vs. Design.

If you’re all about making sure everyone has a blast at your wedding:Wedding Reception Video Booth

If you’re all about making your wedding beautiful:Program

Now, after all of that, relax and remember that your wedding day is really the beginning of a marriage and that is what it’s really all about.

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